Kayak Camping at Thousand Islands National Park


We have kayak camped a couple times before, but we are still beginners. We didn't have enough dry bags, and are amateurs at filling the hulls of kayaks efficiently. Fortunately 1000 Islands Kayaking has extra dry bags, all the gear you need, and expert advice! They even give tours if you don't want to venture out on your own. The dry bags were filled with the items that were not important- the camera, sleeping bags, and extra clothes. Water bottles and waterproof containers went right into the hull, while the rest went in the hatches. After lots of stuffing our gear in everywhere, including a few things on top of the kayaks, we were finally ready for our adventure. We got on our spray skirts in case waves picked up, and off we went.
1000 Islands Kayaking gave us waterproof maps, and directions to the islands we would be staying at. It all seemed pretty straight forward looking at the nice maps with lines on them... foreshadowing here! The weather was questionable as it is many summer days, with a possible storm coming in the afternoon. If we paddled fast we might avoid it.
While Frank had been loading his kayak I had picked the scenic route with the guides at 1000 Islands Kayaking. That translates to longer and more challenging! I recommend this route if you are an experienced kayaker, have good weather, and start by noon or earlier. We are far from experienced but not beginner kayakers anymore. We started with good weather and the noon start. well 2 out of three wasn't bad! The storm came in fast, in the first hour on the water the wind picked up and the water was very choppy.
On the water everything looks different than a flat map. Some of the islands are so close that you don’t see the passage between them until you are right there. From a distance it was impossible for us to tell the difference between the islands. Fortunately Frank thought of this! He had loaded an app on his phone that made it all much easier. The Gaia GPS app saved us that day. Each island was labeled and the waterways between were there for us to follow. Off we went with darkening skies.
We stopped at a few islands for breaks, Camelot was as dreamy as it sounds! Beautiful quiet camp sites on a small island made this island a must visit again! We felt more relaxed knowing we were heading in the right direction and making progress to our campsite. Paddling by one island we saw a few deer run through the woods! I was in heaven seeing this and on the look out for more wildlife the whole day. Heading out from exploring another island, we heard some thunder. It looked like we were close to Gordon Island which was our final destination of the day so we went for it. Halfway across a long stretch of water the rain came, rain like I had never seen. It seemed to fall sideways and sounded like hail. My raincoat was safely packed in the hatch, it least it would be dry! Paddling as fast as we could we made it to the edge of a private island and huddled under Frank’s raincoat. We filmed the rain and silliness of the situation, adventure travel is not always glamorous but it is fun!
The rain eventually stopped and we paddled the rest of the way to Gordon Island. It was maybe 30 minutes more, and in that short time our clothes dried as if the storm had never came. The sun was shining and we had a great story of adventure in the Thousand Islands National Park. Gordon Island welcomed us. We guessed right on the put in spot and were a moment from our oTENTik site. We normally bring tents and have to set up, when getting to an island. At Gordon Island we were treated to oTENTik, which is a cross between a cabin and a tent…no set up required! This was luxury camping for us. Complete with a porch, mattress pads and sleeping for 6, a table and even lights! We had a covered picnic table, and even our own waterfront spot to watch the sunset in Canada’s red Adirondack chairs.

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